GALLERY 5

Traditional fighter kite shapes

My earliest explorations of fighter kites to build exclusively with modern materials owe much to many hours of flying pleasure with the classical Korean format. None of the the three Korean kites shown has a circular hole in the centre - all have either diamond-shaped or rectangular holes that form an integral part of the sail decoration. These kites are quite small (50cm tall) and fly as fast as a combat fighter - however, if flown in light winds they are quite capable of some very relaxing freestyle flying.

However, most of my recent "traditional" buildings have concentrated upon the classical rectanular Buka which offers an uninterrupted sail for decoration. I generally build these kites at 50cm span or 70-80cm span - the smaller size offers fast and crisp freestyle flying with easy transitions into and out of stall tricks, whilst the larger size offers great precision and easier sustaining of spins in the stalled state as well as conrolled landing and take-off (especially during very light wind flying), After a fairly intense period of designing and building square kites I have recently started to design more Buka sails, as well as beginning a series of experiments with the sparring and bridling of the Buka format to try and introduce some new areas of control (especially controlled tail-slides and stalling the kite in the inverted position).

The Kerori is currently a work in progress - it really is a unique kite to fly, but I am still learning to control some of the "accidental" tricks. The Sagara (as with the Suruga shape) is for very traditional relaxed flying - hence the rather traditional decoration.

Classical Korean format kites

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Buka kites

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(left)

Two small Buka kites using quilt block patterns - one the trditional road to heven pattern, the other a Fibonacci pattern of my own design.

(right)

A Japanese Kanji pattern block and a Roy Lichtenstein inspired pop art design (The Great Pyramid)

(below)

A large Buka using one of my own mathematical quilt block designs for the sail.

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Other traditional kite shapes

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(left)

An early venture into designing a sail for the Kerori shape.

(right)

One of my early ventures into developing traditional sail designs for the traditional Sagara as a fighter kite.

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